Why this book?
This is one of the earliest books I remember reading as a child – first in an abridged version (I still remember the illustrations) and then the full text when I was older. It’s an unforgettable classic story inspired by Anna Sewell’s compassion for horses and her despair at the cruelties inflicted on them in Victorian London. We follow Black Beauty from his birth to his old age, as he belongs to various owners and is treated kindly or neglectfully depending on their character and circumstances. Along the way we get to know other horses too, especially proud Ginger and the friendly pony Merrylegs. Poor Ginger’s fate still makes me cry.